tv [untitled] August 17, 2010 1:30am-2:00am PST
in addition, i wanted to acknowledge the assistance and advice and hard work, frankly, of the number of community organizations that played a critical role in the budget development process this year. this is not an exhaustive list, but in particular, like to thank parents for public schools and a parent advisory council for their partnership and convening the community budget workshops in march, and reporting from those workshops later in that month. i would also like to thank the advocates for their very careful attention and advocacy for the equity analysis that we have been working on. as they testified last week, i think it is a good start. that is certainly not a destination yet, but it is a good start that we can continue to build on going forward. i would also like to thank the
budget came, who worked really hard in any year putting recommended budget together, but certainly this year has been unusually challenging. i like to thank the budget team. with that, commissioners have questions? >> thank you, before that, we have public comment. i have one speaker signed up for public comment. thank you, you have two minutes. >> superintendent garcia, members of the board, thank you for your time. i am a staff attorney at the legal aid society and public law center in san francisco, and i am the council for the plaintiff litigation. a first of all, i don't envy the task you have tonight. having said that, i am here for a couple reasons. at first, despite the fact the district is obviously dealing with a situation with resources,
and joined the concerns expressed by the justice department that the district's progress in satisfying the goals not stop as a result. as you are aware, doj has long asserted the multitude of issues, and has been in touch recently with the district attorney's to reiterate those concerns. we share those concerns about the pace of implementation and urge you to work together to make meaningful progress to satisfy this. this is actually almost 35 years old. second, i want to emphasize the plaintiffs are very concerned with the serious problems that currently exist with respect to the ability of elo services about what may or may not be working to the kids. for example, is our understanding that the english
monarch advisory council is not functioning or not even in place in many schools. that the parents are not getting equal access to school materials and information about language options, school newsletters, and the like. and they're not getting adequate interpretation services when they're trying to communicate with district staff. i have already indicated to the district attorney's on this case that this is an area where we are closely monitoring what is going on, and we are looking forward to working collaborative lay rigid collaboratively to ensure that they have a voice in the education of their kids, which is in everybody's interest. thank you so much. >> thank you, sir. at this time, we will open up for comment from the board and staff. all right.
discussion,,, questions. -- discussion, comments, questions. we had a lengthy meeting last week, or months. where much of the comments were made. all right, commissioner? >> thank you. i want to thank everybody. i just want to say that this budget development process has been torturous, difficult, and really good, i think. i praise the outcome that we are actually passing a balanced budget, containing what amounts to over two years of 20% cuts on are generally restricted funds, which any business owner would tell you it is impossible to run a business like that.
so this is quite an extraordinary accomplishment. i want to thank our staff for all the work that has been done. i want to in particular thanke our employee organizations and all the employees that are part of sfusc. we should make no mistake and be very clear, they're basically taking a cut in pay. that is what furloughs represent. lower salaries for fewer days of war, but nonetheless, lower salaries. also, since the four furlough days represent a shorter school year and all the research tells us what a negative impact on education that will have, we need to be very clear, particularly with the public, that we know we are being forced by the funding situation. this is something that is
counter to our educational goals and commitment to the best possible educational opportunities for all students and for social justice. ÷ school year is not the way to have a more just education. so all that being said, i wanted to just for a second reiterate, we actually started this budget process last fall. actually, we started it last june when we pass the last budget, knowing this budget would look pretty much the way it does, as far as the magnitude of the reductions we were required to make. the point is that we start it with the regular budget committee meetings, with outreach to the community, and with the hard work on the part of the staff. the staff that manages the budget, particularly the superintendent and deputy superintendent, i said last night at the retreat, i hope
some of the characteristics of the budget development process this year -- that is something that is ongoing throughout the year, which results clearly and more people getting more knowledge about what works, more open, a better process is something we want to continue. one thing i hope not to continue is making significant cuts, but more than that we need to acknowledge that are top- level managers have spent most of their time this year looking at the budget and finding a way to make these cuts. that also is not the way to manage and operation of this size -- and operation of this size. the fact that we have a balanced budget is extraordinary. the process is unfortunate. and it has been more difficult than any budget, really any public budget i have seen, not
only ours but anybody's. i think now the public understands some of the constraints under which we operate, that we have limited if any ability to raise revenue, which is what you do when you don't have enough money to fund the services that you. are required to by law -- that you are required to by law, not to mention more obligations. i think the budget process has been as good as it could be under the circumstances. these are circumstances i hope to never see again, and we all have an obligation to do everything we can to try to make sure that is true. we have small influence in that area, but what we can do to influence the legislature, the governor, those who control the
revenues in california, and also the processes by which we gain more control over being able to provide revenue that we need to provide the services we must provide. i have a couple of small, specific questions, if i may. i just wanted to check, page 13, the expenditure list. the last one, up $1.6 million contribution to the cafeteria fund, the first reading of this budget listed that as $2 million. are we actually intimating it will be less than last week? you don't have to tell me jçú#tonight. but i was interested in that. >> commissioner, you are referring to page -- >> the summary, under the general fund.
just above the section that you add it, other factors, unrestricted general fund, special education, child development, and the cafeteria fund. >> i believe the first reading was a little over $1.6 million, and it was reduced slightly. >> it was $2 million. i'm hoping >> commissioner, i think i can respond to that. the actual figures in the budget, the math part of the budget, including exhibits, it reflect at first reading $1.6 million. this narrative, i think you are correct, this was actually misstated in the first reading document when it said $2 million, and i have suggested
that to reflect the $1.6 million number. by way of explanation, i think there was a calculation that was done to incorporate the effective furloughs -- the effect of furloughs, which happened right before we completed the first reading document, and that is actually the difference between that, the $400,000. it made it into the exhibits, but not the narrative. >> thank you, i appreciate it. and of course, i am happy about that. also, two small specific questions. a page 105, could you tell me, at the very top of the list that comes over from the page before, say school help the student program, it says 20.4
spe's. do you know what that is? is that counselors? i am not familiar with the funding source. i don't have a clue about what it is. >> we will have to get that to you. >> the last thing, page 107, it is not really here, but there was another object code last year, 90554, and it had 47.7 spe's in it. do you know what that is, or what happened to those people? by the way, you could tell me you will tell me later. these are just examples, one of the things we talked about last week and that we talked about what the budget committee and i hope we will be able to do, is i hope that we never have to make significant cuts again.
however, even if we were not making cuts, we might be in the reorganization that we are doing and we might see personnel show up in a different program, and that is what we're seeing here as an example. so we have discussed this before, just for the public, but i hope we have in the future, sadly we are fairly certain we will have to make additional cuts next year, not merely of this magnitude, -- not nearly of this magnitude, but i would hope that somewhere we have in the budget something that shows where all these cuts were made. rather than at the very large view, 40-summit million dollars of concessions from the employee organizations, we would actually be able to know, this is how many people we cut from this program, this is how much money we save, this is how much we cut from that. i think it would be helpful, certainly to me and i hope everybody. that is all i have to say,
except i will, of course, with a heavy heart support this budget. thank you for all your work. >> thank you. >> i will be very brief, because we had a long year of this very same conversation. i want to, first and foremost, that the deputy superintendent. this is not sexy work. i am sorry, but you have been at it. with your staff, all the way down to every single person in the accounting department, i really want to thank you for your leadership. you have been able to educate all of us, including members of the public, including our partners, and how to express the depths of the cuts and devastation that is done at sfusd. i really want to commend you and
thank you very, very much for your leadership in this on this work. again, it is not attractive, and i know that, and we're really grateful to you for leading that in this way. i also want to briefly think our partners. i know we had lots of help from the community-based organizations, finding places to meet with parents and teachers and employee partners, explaining this to the parents, the schools, so the general public can better understand what we are embarking on. it is not sexy, attractive, or pleasant news, but we must go forward. as we try to go forward as best we can, we have managed to do herculean things. all you have to do is ask a family member or friend of another city what they are up
against and you will know that we have been able to accomplish so much here with what little we have, and with all the agreements and everybody giving just a little bit off their table so somebody else could have just a little bit as well. i want to thank everybody who has been involved in that, and that goes for all the organizations. i am grateful. last, i want to thank my board colleagues. it is difficult to hold tight when we want to fight amongst each other, and it is just criminal. it is truly criminal that we have to do these things. i want to thank you all for staying together, especially around this budget, and working continuously with the community and the public, working with us and understanding. i know sometimes you read the paper or hear something on the radio, and it is just explosive,
but please know that we have been working on this quite diligently for a long time, and the work will not stop. you can join and and partake of this information. do not hesitate to tell parents and friends. we're not trying to keep things secret here. we want everyone to know as much as we can tell you, as much as we understand, and we have been working on this for more than a year. and you are able to join us and other spaces beside the board meetings. i want to reiterate that information. there are opportunities to understand and dialogue with us about the budget and how it impacts families and students and all the employees at sfusd. that is all i wanted to say. i will be supporting this, and it is with a heavy heart. thank you. >> commissioner norton?
>> i first want to echo the other board members, thanking the staff for the tremendous work on this, and our community partners and labor partners. it has not been an easy year, but the work that you all have done has gotten us through. i very much appreciate that mr. lee, i just had one question, which you can get the information later. i did at the meeting request a list of positions that had been eliminated by department, and i see we got some of that information, but i was actually hoping district-wide if i could actually see where positions were eliminated and if they were shifted to other departments or if there were out light -- or if they were outright eliminated. if we could eventually get that, i would appreciate it.
>> i also want to thank everyone, but i really want to commend the district for keeping true to our strategic plan, even in these deep budget cuts. we looked at the budget through the lens of equity and made the hard cuts, but trying still to state in line and on line with our strategic plan and to close our achievement gap. having said that, i want to commend the district for restoring 50% of our counselors that were slated to be cut under the special funding, finding the money to save half of that fund. i think that is really going to be imperative as we implement our a through g with the ninth graders. hard work, everyone, and thank you to our partners. >> vice president mendoza? >> thank you.
another round of thanks, because we could really not have done this without our staff, employees, and unions. i am a city employee and i myself am taking 12 furlough days. it is hard to do when you have a family and you are just trying to keep things above water, so i am totally sympathetic to what our staff and employees of the school district are going through enduing for ross. it is really enabling us to continue to stay on track with our strategic plan, which i am grateful that we have a strategic plan, because it has made us focus on the priorities of the school district. we have also, as a board, set our own priorities. we have been able to do that collectively, which i don't think all school boards can do that. it has really helped us to stay
and alignment with our budget. with what little we have. i think this budget cycle has also brought out parents and teachers and community members and a way i have never seen before. we have had some really deep discussions, whether it was funding our future or talking about a potential parcel tax. we have come to the table and we have had some really great discussions about the needs of our school district. i really want to thank our city partners, mayor newsom, and the board of supervisors, who continue to support the school district in many ways. with the rainy day fund that the supervisor thought about, and supervisors who continue to give it to us freely and willingly, without a fuss, really recognizing the challenges we have, it has been tremendous. we went from $24 million to $6
million this year. without our city partners and without the voters of san francisco, we would be in a much worse position and we would be looking like the other 25% of california in terms of school districts. i think we all feel the last thing we ever want to have happened to us is to be taken over by the state, because we know what a fabulous job they do in their budget cycles. so i just want to again thank everyone for the very candid conversations we have been able to have, and for coming out and really supporting the work that we have been doing. and to my colleagues as2fd! well into the superintendent, i know this has been really hard, and the negotiations that you all have put a tremendous amount of time until, really coming to the table and taking care of what we need to take care of for our kids. really matters to us, so thank
you very much. >> thank you, president. yeah, like everybody else, i want to thank everybody. it has been a partnership that has been necessitated from all the state cuts, and i am kind of glad -- is not a partnership that grew from nowhere. it is something that took years and decades, and i think the reality of these cuts that we had to make really gave a face to this partnership, because everybody came out and had concerns. we're trying to be very helpful, no matter whether the meetings were here or at the community, parents, community folks, they all came out, teachers who came up. everybody was angry, rightfully
so, but nobody lost it in the sense that they did not try to come up with solutions and give suggestions. ifñi felt like it was a real building experience for us. i want to really give thanks to the leadership of our district, because in many ways, we had anticipated this over a year ago. there were things that were done prior to this year that has helped this year. in fact, because we are anticipating as drastic a budget deficit as this year next year, we have done things to make sure that we minimize the effect of that deficit by putting enough of our funding into the reserves to offset some of the damage that we might face next year. again, not everybody is doing that.
i came back from a trip to hawaii, and that was in february, and they were already this year taking 15 furlough days in the whole state of hawaii from their schools. i said, oh, my god, we can't go there. we have a budget that will hurt everyone and everybody, but it does not hurt anyone particular situation. to me, it is a very balanced approach. i love our discussion, last week, when we had a budget discussion in the committee of a whole, what that has done is basically set the agenda for the budget committee, once we get back in session in august. there were a lot of suggestions on how we approach things, how
we could look at our priorities as a package in terms of looking at the budget, rather than piecemeal, and i am glad that the budget committee actually took on the new budget way earlier during this fiscal year than we have in the past. generally, we look at what we have done in developing the budget for the following year, it is to start in january. we actually started this process. much in september or october. we knew we needed a lot of discussion, and also not just discussion but to better understand where we could cut with the least damage to our students. so again, i am very proud of what we have done. when i talk to other school district folks and realize how bad they are and how their budgets are planned, i have to
say that as commissioner mendoza said, we have great city partnerships, of voters in particular, supporters, not the voters understand the value of education -- the voters understand the value of education and understand the lack of funding that we get from the state. that is why i continue to wear this button, "fix school finances," and this is a reflection of thebé m lawsuit 'e participating and to get the state -- to get the state to make the finances more constitutional and aligned to the standards that they have put forward and asked us to do for our kids. so thank you very much, colleagues, and let's pass this thing. >> deputy superintendent lee, i have one question. thank you so much for all the
follow-up and feedback and making changes to the second meeting budget. it was amazing to see all of that information, and so quickly, a week later. and just really taking notes on all the feedback from the board one question was the impact of cuts to evening schools. i am curious how -- how are we funding online courses through after school? are we making cuts in other areas in order to do this or was there additional funding? that is for the online courses. >> i can share one tidbit. i had a conversation with a colleague today. i am looking at mr. sa nderson. i do not know if he cares to elaborate. with respect to the items regarding casey -- there is some
funding that will not be totally spent through the current fiscal year -- through the 2009-2010 fiscal year. i was speaking with robert moss today, who has a proposal. it sounds like a very promising proposal, although it is getting late in the fiscal year. it is to invest in some work with that additional funding to really expand in the online credit recovery options that we could get in place and available for our students next year. and we can provide more details about that if you would like. it did sound like a good opportunity to take advantage of. we did have a spending freeze in place all year with our programs, which include the